Pellumair - Summer Storm

'Summer Storm' is the second offering from British folk duo Pellumair. Signed to indie stalwarts Rough Trade's Tugboat label, Pellumair comprises accomplished musicians Jaymie Caplen and Tom Stanton. After hearing about these fine credentials, I really wanted to like this album. The press release and biography suggested a banquet of cool chilled-out folk, which would lull me into abject bliss. To say that I had high expectations of this little long player is something of an understatement.


Sadly my hopes for this album were dashed. That said, it is not a bad album, it's just not a particularly great one either. Summer Storm will not have you doing the mad dash to wrench it off the CD player for its sheer awfulness, but it is a CD you could play and not even realise that you had heard it.


Whilst I can understand what Pellumair are trying to do, that is, create a stripped back album with subtle stylings. What they have done is created a batch of songs that are so similar in their style and execution; it is difficult to tell them apart.


'Summer Storm' is not helped by a somewhat muddy production style that is entirely counter-productive to this sparse folk-based record.


There is no doubt that Jaymie Caplen and Tom Stanton are talented individuals. Their ability to create sublime and haunting vocal stylings cannot be ignored. Nonetheless the songs that culminate into 'Summer Storm' illustrate a lack of scope and willingness to explore the material to its full potential. The eleven tracks which make up Summer Storm seemingly meld into one, not in a concept album kind of way, but in a ‘Gee, didn't I already hear this one?' kind of way.


The sole exception to this is ‘Lucy'. A far more textured and challenging offering than the other tracks, it was the only one that I would be compelled to seek out in future listening.


I do concede that perhaps my inability to recognise the subtlety of this album is my own problem. It is possible that my unlearned and clunky ears are unable to recognise the delicate beauty of this album. Perhaps it is an album that presupposes a background in folk music. However, if Pellumair are seeking a new audience, this is not the album that will reach them.


The lack of difference between tracks gives the album an unfinished and unstructured atmosphere. This is unfortunate because there is patently a vast amount of potential in Pellumair waiting to be realised. Hopefully in their third long player Pellumair will be willing to greater explore the scope of their song writing and show more bravery in the execution of its material.


Whilst this sounds like a bad review, it is not, it is simply a disappointed one, as the talent is obviously there, it just needs more time to make itself felt and heard to this listener.

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